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Tout Terrain Serendipity Experiences

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Tout Terrain Serendipity Experiences

Old 03-23-11, 02:51 AM
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safariofthemind
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Tout Terrain Silkroad Experiences

For those who own a TT Silkroad or frame, how is it? Worth the money vs other stock frames? Is it stiffer because of the built in rack? Any Rohloff owners?

http://peterwhitecycles.com/tout-terrain.asp
http://travellingtwo.com/resources/e...rrain-silkroad
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...uild-09-33984/
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Old 03-23-11, 07:24 AM
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I have a TT silkroad with rohloff

I built the bike with drop bars and road BB7 brakes, and regularly commute on it with a decent load. Have been on a few short mixed terrain tours fully-loaded around CO. I rode a few sections of the CO trail (singletrack, hiking trail) fully loaded, which it handled well. For this more technical MTB-style offroad riding, I plan to get a flat/riser bar to swap out. The drops are great on fire-roads or abandoned railroad grades though.

I absolutely love the bike.

The build quality is great- The welds are beautiful (not globby or chunky at all, just the two mitered tubes meeting each other) the Paint is very tough. The handlebar stop works as advertised, the stainless dropouts etc are all very well done. The rack is a great design- triangulated, oversized tubing, 10mm lower rails all stainless... The EBB is better than the set screw type (or the horrible bushnell type) which I have used.

the frame and rack is hands down the stiffest thing Ive used. My other tourer has a Tubus logo, and the difference is actually pretty noticeable. It rides really comfortably either loaded or unloaded. It is worth noting that I am in the "stiff frame with larger-volume lower-PSI tires" camp I ride on 40mm schwalbe supremes most of the time. but the frame could easily fit 60mm tires and fenders if you wanted....

As far as cost: The frame and fork was ~ 900 USD direct from the UK (carried home via plane, VAT was refunded). For that price I got a Columbus Zona frame, stainless rack, stainless dropouts and braze-ons, cable routing for rohloff and dynohub, and what I think is the best of the rohloff-specific touring designs.

what else do you want to know? I remember being frustrated by the lack of user experiences online when i bought, so let me know if you have questions...
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Old 03-23-11, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for the reply positron.

Been considering a new touring bike with disc brakes. The Salsa Vaya frame built up with or without a Rohloff (haven't decided) was the first candidate but the more I read about the TT the better it sounds. I realize they are in different price categories so it is not an apples to apples comparison but because I tend to keep bikes a long time, the question is how much better an investment is this frame over a more mass produced bike which one may grow tired of quicker...

Other than the aesthetics and stiffness (and ignoring the IGH for now), what other advantages do you see in the frame? What other frames got your consideration? Did you get yours built to take advantage of the above-front-wheel light setup with SON hub?

What would you say was the approximate total cost of the build? Any gotchas?

The other alternative is the custom route, where a frameset-only is about 2K+. Might get a better fit but not as much debugging as you'd presumably get with a tested model like this one.
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Old 03-23-11, 09:14 AM
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You get high end oversized double butted columbus tubing which is strong and light, All stainless dropouts and brazeons, a stainless rack rated for 300 lbs. And a bunch of features specific to lighting, touring and disks, such as internal wiring runs, forward facing front dropouts and integrated rear kickstand mounts. The handlebar stops seemed unimportant to me at first, but are really awesome to have. I also like the suspension-corrected geomtery for the ability to easily swap to a 80-100mm sus-fork (what I might do for the GDMBR). You get the best EBB design on the market, and the ability to ride very well with either drops or riser bars. You also get enough clearance to run the biggest tires and fenders you could want. Full fender mounting braze-ons (including in the integrated rack) etc.

To have a custom frame built with all these features would be hard to do period (because of mixture of chromoly and stainless), and would cost far more than 2K...

I do have a SON, It works really well with the integrated lighting run...

I think the Silkroad is ideal if you want a Rohloff-equipped touring frame. I also looked at thorn, and various MTB-ish frames that could be used with Rohloff... nothing had all the features of the silkroad for a better price. The Thorn SS raven nomad I rode felt "dead" to me... I started with a rohloff in mind, so that removed many potential bikes from my consideration.

I bought all the parts at discounts online, and bought direct from European (UK and Germany) sellers tax-free for the frame and two hubs and lighting system. Total build cost was between 2500-3000 US, and I built the wheels, bike etc. myself over a couple years... Peter white did not get my business because of his price premium, and a less-than helpful phone conversation about specific frame geometries. I got exactly what i wanted with the build, so while it was expensive, I feel I got a great deal. Most importantly, the bike rides really really well loaded or unloaded, on-road or off-road with drop bars or MTB flats. total weight with front racks and bottle cages, Stainless 60mm fenders, SON hub and lights is 35 lbs.

HTH, feel free to ask anything else you might think of.
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Old 03-23-11, 09:20 AM
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pic of build:


since this I have added a front platform rack (small nitto) and a hebie chainglider for the winter. Also use a tubus Duo rack set when I want to carry front panniers.
for commuting, I remove the tubus rack. the tires shown are 50mm schwalbe XR
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Old 03-23-11, 04:47 PM
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This is a very cool thread. Thanks for all the detailed information positron. I have been a big "looker" at the Tout Terrain Silkroad and the Grande Route but lacking any real place to see one, all I have been able to do is look.
I myself own a new Vaya and a new Fargo but I also owned one of the older Fargoes and have a fair amount of time on that bike. I know a lot about the design and manufacture of both bikes so I felt comfortable buying them, and there is a fair amount of feedback and information about both frames out there. Still, I find this information useful and very interesting.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:17 AM
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Excellent feedback. Interesting you mentioned the Thorn. It is a beautiful bike, but it seemed to be insufficiently differentiated from the Vaya to justify its premium price. This article http://travellingtwo.com/resources/e...n-touring-bike was interesting in that regard, but once you decide mechanical disc brakes are a must, the field is very narrow. Wondering how long before Surly comes up with their interpretation of a disc equipped LHT...

Does the TT have a special way to mount the Rohloff shifter mechanism if you choose treekking or drop bars? The hubbub is ok but there's gotta be a better way to do this... http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...3?disp_order=2 and http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.ph...=12836&start=0

You ought to do a spread on this bike at crazyguyonabike positron. Many people would benefit from it since it is so hard to get to ride them to try them out. In 2009 a few of the experienced folks discussed this bike http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...age=1&nested=1 and it would be awesome to have a follow up in the form of an article with pictures.
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Old 03-24-11, 08:50 AM
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I made a hubub equivalent. Its the best solution for drop bars. I cut off an inch and a half of the drop, and epoxied a 22mm tube inside the end- I then mounted the shifter backwards - it works great, just like a bar-end shifter ergonomically speaking... total cost was about a buck, but if i couldnt find the 22mm aluminum tube, I would just buy the hubub deal probably.

For trekking bars, the shifter should mount directly, but obviously only on the back-half of the bar.

good idea on the CGOAB posting, i might just do that...
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